In this edition of all time favorite comic book covers is a painted cover by the master of the horror genre, Bernie Wrightson. He was noticed early in his comic career by horror fans when he contributed the last two covers for Marvel Comics series Chamber of Darkness and Tower of Shadows in 1970. A year later he co-created Swamp Thing, a character that has been a continuing second tier force in the DC Universe. It was here that his flowing style really caught my attention. I always saw a lot of Frank Frazetta influence in those early Swamp Thing days.
Here we have Bernie Wrightson’s painted work from 1991 Marvel Comics Punisher P.O.V. #2. You can see the influence of his horror work in the flowing garments of the mystery character about to strike a nasty blow in the general direction of our favorite comic book hunter. Continue reading
This edition of all time favorite comic book covers features my favorite comic storyteller, Carl Barks. I could write volumes on what Carl Barks brought to comics, but instead I will simply say that Mr Barks brought me great joy in experiencing many of his adventurous and humorous stories weaved through time and history. All in the relatively simple medium of the comic book pages.
One of Carl Barks most endearing creations was Scrooge McDuck, that’s Uncle Scrooge to his nephew Donald Duck. Scrooge first appeared in 1947’s Four Color Comics #178 in a story titled “Christmas on Bear Mountain”. His initial role was merely to be the antagonist to the star, Donald Duck. The Scrooge McDuck character became so popular, eventually he was granted his own title “Uncle Scrooge” in 1952’s Four Color Comics #386.
Four Color Comics #386 Uncle Scrooge in “Only A Poor Old Man” by Carl Barks.
This cover is a classic Carl Barks, combining the themes that followed through all of the stories with the Duck family. Uncle Scrooge is completely obsessed with his money, Donald is forced to do all of the grunt work, while Donald’s nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie, are up to mischief. In one image, the first ever Uncle Scrooge cover, Mr Barks has captured over 60 years of the Disney Ducks magical formula.
This particular all time favorite comic book cover actually is two comic covers.
As we know, the introduction of Spider-Man in 1962 by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko was a stroke of creative genius. This not only produced many consistent fan favorite comic series over the past 52 years but also a multi-billion dollar movie and TV property! All media version of Spider-Man are going strong today.
Spider-Man was introduced in Amazing Fantasy #15. The issue just prior to #15 was titled “Amazing Adult Fantasy”. In issue #15, an editorial piece by Stan Lee went to great lengths about the name change. After all, what young kids want to be caught reading a comic titled “Amazing Adult Fantasy”? Aha! Didn’t think of that when you first read the title, did you! So they changed the title, apologized for the previous comic title, unknowingly created one of the most entertaining super-heroes in history and then…wait for it…cancelled the Amazing Fantasy title with issue #15 being it’s last!
The cover to previous issue, “Amazing Adult Fantasy #14”, was penciled by Steve Ditko as well as all the art for it’s five short stories. But, despite the fact that Steve Ditko co-created Spider-Man and penciled all the stories as well in issue 15, at the last minute Stan Lee decided that another of Marvel’s prolific creative geniuses should pencil this Spider-Man cover. Jack Kirby, ended up penciling the cover to this historic comic book.
But Steve Ditko did pencil a cover to Amazing Fantasy #15 that Stan Lee decided not to use. The cover was finally used 51 years later, as a 1 out of every 200 chase variant to Amazing Spider-Man #700. Continue reading